Rheidol Vale Falls near Aberystwyth is a great place to start a Welsh wild swimming adventure, while Lady Falls in the Brecon Beacons, and Rhaeadr Mawddach in Snowdonia offer stunning waterfall pools. For something more extreme, Wales’s mountain tarns are an exhilarating place to cool off after a hike. Llyn Idwal, Llyn Eiddew, Llynnau Mymbyr, Llyn Glaslyn and Llyn Cau all boast stunning views of Snowdon’s dramatic horseshoe, while Llyn y Fan Fach in the Brecon Beacons is equally dramatic.
If you’re after something a bit simpler, Sharrah Pool in Dartmoor, Claverton Weir near Bath, Appletreewick on the River Wharfe in the Yorkshire Dales and Port Meadow in Oxford also offer a great introduction to wild swimming adventures. Or, if a lake is a bit small for your tastes, there are plenty of great coastal wild swims.
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Let the kids loose on the water
Sometimes a day out isn’t about mum and dad, and the UK’s best water adventure parks are perfect for a range of fun kid-friendly activities. With room for five (while retaining a full 450 litres of luggage space), the new MINI Countryman has all the room you need for a day of getting wet and wild. Plus, the automatic tailgate, sliding rear seats and picnic bench of the new MINI Countryman’s optional Activity Pack make a swimming trip with the kids easier than ever.
The UK has plenty of family-friendly inland watersports centres. The New Forest Water Park in Hampshire and Thorpe Lakes on the edge of the M25 at Chertsey boast two of Britain’s biggest and best kid-friendly aqua parks with giant inflatable obstacle courses. For more grown up children (and kids at heart), there’s also wakeboarding and waterskiing.
Head to Rutland Water in the Midlands to find one of Europe’s largest man-made lakes, where you can hire windsurfers, paddle board, rowing boats and kayaks. Or travel north of the Scottish Borders to visit the Galloway Activity Centre, where you can take to Loch Ken for wakeboarding, windsurfing and water skiing.
If you’re longing for even more space, head to Newquay in Cornwall, a town famous for its surfing culture and water sports. At Newquay Water Sports Centre you can try your hand at white water ‘surf rafting’, take a kayak tour of the coast or jump aboard the big yellow banana float towed by a Jet Ski – it’ll get you from 0-30mph in just 1.5 seconds.